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Bernard Wasserstein, 23 September 1993

Imperial Warrior: The Life and Times of Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby 1861-1936 
by Lawrence James.
Weidenfeld, 279 pp., £20, January 1993, 0 297 81152 5
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... Fat arse and big thighs never assist horsemanship’ was the verdict of General Sir William Furse who watched the young Edmund Allenby riding at Staff College in 1896-7. Six foot, two inches tall, with a 44-inch chest and a hearty appetite for food and drink, Allenby dominated man and horse alike by brute size. His heavy-seated horsemanship did not prevent him from being elected Master of Drag Hounds at Camberley, nor from emerging as one of the last great cavalry commanders ...

Forever Unwilling

Bernard Wasserstein, 13 April 2000

A People Apart: The Jews in Europe 1789-1939 
by David Vital.
Oxford, 944 pp., £30, June 1999, 0 19 821980 6
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... No one has yet written a worthwhile history of the Jews in modern Europe. Apart from the problem of the range of sources and languages, there is an intrinsic difficulty which is at the heart of the Jew’s predicament in the modern world: the Jews are and are not a unit. It is not just that they are internally divided – that is true of all groups – but that the modernisation of the Jews has involved an irretrievable jettisoning in part or whole of their Jewishness and a submersion in the cultures and societies of their residence ...

Reverse Discrimination

Phillip Knightley, 19 May 1988

The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Yale, 327 pp., £16.95, April 1988, 0 300 04076 8
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... At the beginning of this puzzling book the author, Bernard Wasserstein, Professor of History and Chairman of the History Department at Brandeis University, offers his excuses for writing it. It is, he says, the story of a man who left barely any footprints in political history and whose literary relics are without enduring value ...


Keiron Pim: In Mostyska, 22 February 2024

... of the Habsburg Empire in 1918, when it became part of the newly restored Poland. The historian Bernard Wasserstein first heard of the town as a child in the 1950s, when his mother told him it was where his father came from. Abraham (‘Addi’) Wasserstein wouldn’t speak of the place. His son grew up wondering ...

Capital Folly

Avi Shlaim: The Jerusalem Syndrome, 21 March 2002

Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Profile, 420 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 1 86197 333 0
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... seeking to understand the Jerusalem question in its current form could not do better than read Bernard Wasserstein’s thoroughly researched, elegantly written and strikingly fair-minded book. Its starting-point is what psychologists have long been aware of as the ‘Jerusalem syndrome’ that afflicts some visitors to the city, especially Western ...

A Very Bad Case

Michael Brock, 11 June 1992

Herbert Samuel: A Political Life 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Oxford, 427 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 19 822648 9
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... effects of personal irritation on imaginative Welsh politicians. In his final chapter Professor Wasserstein draws attention to ‘a fundamental innocence’ and ‘supreme intellectual self-confidence’ as two salient features of Samuel’s make-up. These characteristics, allied to immense industry and administrative capacity, invite a comparison with a ...

Visa Requirement

D.D. Guttenplan: Whitehall and Jews, 6 July 2000

Whitehall and The Jews 1933-48 
by Louise London.
Cambridge, 313 pp., £30, March 2000, 0 521 63187 4
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... Out of that vast reservoir of misery and murder, only a trickle of escape was provided.’ Bernard Wasserstein examined this claim in some detail in Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-45 (1979), as have numerous historians on both sides of the Atlantic since then. On the numbers alone, Britain’s accusers appear to have the better case. Compare ...

Plots don’t stop

Leo Robson: ‘The World and All That It Holds’, 13 April 2023

The World and All That It Holds 
by Aleksandar Hemon.
Picador, 336 pp., £18.99, February, 978 0 330 51332 6
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... Bailey. Hemon has drawn on genuine texts before, though not always faithfully. The historian Bernard Wasserstein complained about the liberties taken in Nowhere Man, in which the narrator reads a different – more dramatic – version of Wasserstein’s Secret War in Shanghai. Hemon plays fairer here, using ...

Holocaust History

Geoff Eley, 3 March 1983

... British, American and other records, the international dimension has now been treated in works by Bernard Wasserstein, Walter Laqueur and Martin Gilbert.Some areas still require further research. In response partly to the outrageous claims made by David Irving, there has recently been some discussion of the exact timing and authorship of the specific ...

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